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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Measure Your Life...

My party did not suck. I got to see my brethren, the people I grew up with, the people I love under my roof. So very good.

Also, my friends and I unmasked the Zodiac Killer. A very corrupt and powerful lawyer is preventing me from actually printing the name on this website but I know deep in my heart that he will be brought to justice soon and that those families will finally have some measure of peace.

It's nice to be part of something like that.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

joy to be derived out of being alive

It's been a pretty good Thanksgiving weekend, a time which traditionally counts as among my favorite times of year going back to 1995. The holiday itself isn't a huge deal, since my family is pretty much a bunch of loonies, with a couple of exceptions, but it's also the time when all my friends who aren't in Chicago come back to Chicago, and that rules.

I'm getting ready for the party I'm having for them to start. Hopefully my party will not suck.

I've seen some cool spectacle type things in the last few days, I just came back from seeing the Nutcracker on horseback with my high school friends Eamon and Nora, right now I've got enchantment and wonder pouring out of every orifice. I'm not sure what was more entertaining, the amazing death defying stunts the horse riding actors were performing or Nora's horrified reactions to them.

On Wednesday night, I saw the movie version of Rent. I missed the boat on Rent a bit, being a theatre kid who grew up in the '90s, I really should have become a diehard Rent fan, which a lot of my friends did, but for some reason, I don't know, I was always too busy. Some of the songs, like "Seasons of Love" and "La Boheme" I like but don't know that well, so anyway, I went into the movie pretty fresh, not knowing much more than there's some heroin and some hustling and some AIDS.

And I of course wept like a weakling babe. Rent is so good. Maybe it's all Broadway bombast and emotional manipulation but what can I say? I openly invite you to manipulate my emotions, that's what they're there for.

However, I saw it with a group of huge Rent fangirls who were much more focused on the quality of the film adaptation than the show itself, which they already knew too well. So basically there was no one to share my manipulated emotions with. But whatever, I can bottle those up. Sometimes.

I read a review of the movie that said something about how it was the perfect
'90s musical because of the supposed spirit of inclusion (read: the fags are alright) of that period but noted that it's dated because America is now "slowly folding up it's big tent of inclusion".

Hm...maybe that's true somewhere. But not in my America.

Friday, November 25, 2005

tests? More like trials.

For men's souls. I'll take one of those too.

One more test

For the road.

Thursday, November 24, 2005



this webpage

Wasn't working for awhile. Now it is. Some content would be good, don't you think? I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat, but I don't think you want to see those smeared all over a website do you?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Quote of the Millennium

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly blamed French President Jacques Chirac for the war in Iraq, claiming that if "Chirac had stepped up and looked Saddam in the eye and said, 'You either let those U.N. (United Nations) inspectors do their job unfettered, or I'm going with the U.S.A. and Britain,' Saddam would have blinked. There wouldn't have been an Iraq war." Speaking on his November 7 radio show, O'Reilly added: "This Iraq war is on Chirac. It's right on his head. That's where it is."

From the November 7 broadcast of Fox News' The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: But this French thing, I mean to us -- just remember this: If Jacques Chirac had stepped up and looked Saddam in the eye and said, "You either let those U.N. inspectors do their job unfettered, or I'm going with the U.S.A. and Britain," Saddam would have blinked. There wouldn't have been an Iraq war. This Iraq War is on Chirac. It's right on his head. That's where it is.

God is mocking us...from a distance.

He Moves in Mysterious Ways

My love of the Daily Show and its spinoff, the Colbert Report, has been pretty well documented on this webpage, but I can't say I've ever felt much love for its parent network, Comedy Central. As a broadcaster of syndicated reruns back in the nineties, they were pretty good. They would show Kids in the Hall and Mystery Science Theatre reruns and that was noble. Most everything else on the network tended to veer wildly between the okay and the horrendous, a status quo which continues to this day. I remember when the Daily Show was kind of crappy actually, when it starred the smarmy, pretty much talentless Craig Kilbourn rather than the heroic champion of justice Jon Stewart.

It's really disheartening to see something that purports to be the center of comedy dedicate itself to airing the "animated reality series" Drawn Together, which sounds mildly amusing at first, until you watch about ten seconds of it and then you have to take a shower for at least forty five minutes and multiple daily showings of movies like "Joe Dirt". It's depressing for someone who considers himself a mildly talented comic writer to be sure.

They have a new "Entertainment News" show that attempts to copy the Daily Show formula, and apparently they decided to copy it so exactly that they gave the hosting job at first to an unfunny smarmball, Joe Dirt star David Spade.

But last night I discovered that the show also employs Scott Adsit as a performer.

If you don't know who Scott Adsit is, that's because you have not been saved, for he is the Savior of Humanity, and the One True Messiah. He was a Second City Mainstage performer in the mid 1990's. My high school friends and I discovered him and all of us loved him, two of us began to actively worship him as The Living Incarnation Of All That Is Good In The Universe.

He is the funniest, smartest, and handsomest man on Earth. Were I in possession of a uterus, I would wish to bear ten thousand of his babies.

His also brilliant but not quite as much colleagues, such as Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, and Adam McKay have all achieved a fair amount of notoriety in Hollywood, while Scott, despite a couple of appearances on the legendary Mr. Show, has mostly done Pizza Hut commercials and forty five second appearances on sitcoms. But now he has a semi-regular gig! In which he makes fun of actors who are in horrible movies! Okay, it's not great, but it's a step up.

I believe now that he has established his foothold, he will transform this network into a true Center of Comedy. By the end of 2006, he will sit atop a jewel encrusted golden throne, dispensing wise, just, and very, very funny laws. Jon Stewart will sit at his right hand. Beautiful maidens will feed him peeled grapes and his soldiers will wave Adam Carolla's severed head around on a pike. David Spade will be in charge of milkshake runs, although he will be supervised by someone slightly more trustworthy.

Friday, November 18, 2005

keeping tabs

So the CIA has reported that they think Castro may have Parkinson's disease.

Keep up the great work, CIA, we'll beat that dirty Commie yet.

In other current events, the front page story in the Tribune yesterday was about honor killings being conducted by Muslim immigrants in Western Europe. The story focused on a former Kurdish "freedom fighter" (the poor oppressed people we recently went to war for) and emigre to London who slit his sixteen year old daughter's throat for "dating without permission".

Teen rebellion ain't what it used to be.

This is all totally cool according to his culture's ancient traditions. I don't want to be all culturally intolerant but fuck that guy. And his culture, of which I am intolerant.

My fellow lefties think the answer to Islamic extremism is peace and love, while the right wingers think the answer is endless bloody slaughter abroad (but they seem to think that's the answer to just about everything). The real answer is making clear that cultural pluralism is fine and dandy to a point, and that point is certainly the point of a knife which one uses to slit the throat of one's sixteen year old daughter.

"Everyone who wants to live in the twenty first century over here, everyone who wants to live in the Dark Ages, over there. Thank you."-John Rogers

I'm poised to have a good weekend, I think, recovering from the recent melancholy spirit I hope, couple of parties, couple of friends from out of town, prelude I hope, to the annual Thanksgiving reunion with my high school mates, to be hosted at my apartment this time. I hope they show up and that they don't all hate me, because a lot of people do.

Last night was a good start, I went to a Young Democratic Professionals or something like that party. Got my name on their list working for Barack, as it turned out I only knew one person there but I wasn't there to socialize I was there for the free food and cheap alcohol, which those spendthrift liberals were just giving away in ridiculous quantities.

And here I must make an alteration to my original post, because I made a joke about someone that my roommate strongly pressured me to take down because she felt it was ungentlemanly, and although I am loath to self-censor, I concluded that she was very correct. My uncommon gift of wit is a powerful sword and must be wielded with the most sober of judgements.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

my day, my week, my month, or even my year

What are you doing here? Do you enjoy being exposed to wanky whining in print form? That's all you're likely to get from this website. I figure the Internet is about 70% porn and 30% overeducated underemployed twentysomethings bitching. The remainder of content is less than 1%, too small to classify.

I am a hollow shell of a man. Lately I've been contemplating what a mirthless mediocrity my life is. The usual boring garbage, but it all seems particularly acute at the moment.

Let's see, my job is pointless, and I'm very bad at it, my mother's in the looney bin, girls don't like me and despite my childish fancies to the contrary I pretty much suck as a playwright. Or at the very least I'm not very distinguished in a world full of wannabes. And I'll never be young again. Barely noticed when I was...

That's all pretty standard but it all feels larger than life right now, and it's all happening at once. Plus the crazy neighbor who has shown a willingness to destroy my roomate's and presumably my property to avenge the hours of sleep that we've allegedly stolen from him, that's something fairly new.

The world owes you nothing, bitch.

I'm not sure who I'm addressing there.

Oh yeah, and Arrested Development's cancelled.

Somewhere yesterday I made a decision to just be deppressed. Submit to the malaise, and see the bad in every little thing. Quit trying to drown my sorrows 'cause my sorrows have learned to swim. Embrace the sad 'cause it's all you've got.

But eventually you remember how dumb that is. You remember how you were born to fight, and that your demons are there to be laughed at. Every now and then you need to be reminded...

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

bucket full of truth

So speaking of intense, Jon Stewart/Barack Obama. Has a more profound meeting of the minds ever taken place? It's kind of like that Steve Martin play where Picasso and Einstein hang out except it actually happened. And I watched it unfold before my eyes. I watched it with three friends. There was a lot of cheering. It was kind of beautiful.

Then Stephen Colbert had Elliot Spitzer, whom I've read a lot about but never actually seen. Pretty cool. An Obama/Spitzer (or Spitzer/Obama) presidential ticket has been a liberal wet dream for a while. It'll never happen of course, next time we'll probably get Hillary/Joe Biden or some bullshit, but maybe I'm wrong and future historians will look back on last night as the night the two titans both appeared on Comedy Central. Really probably not.

My friends said they'd love to see the Obama/Stewart ticket. Obviously that's a joke, but it made me think. Jon is a godlike genius, but would probably not handle the whole mundane detail aspect of the job (though he'd probably do better than this guy we've got now) but in the glorious, utopian Obama administration, wouldn't he be the most awesome Press Secretary ever?

Stephen Colbert would be Secretary of Balls.

Monday, November 7, 2005

can I sit down for a minute?

My weekend was intense. My week has been intense. Not necessarily bad. Kind of bad, but mostly just intense. So much interpersonal drama on so many different fronts of my life. More than any one person in my life knows about, because they're so busy keeping up with the other parts. What's going on in my soul?

It's invigorating in a way, makes me feel alive. But it's fading fast. Another day at the Adult Education Store beats it down ever so effectively and I return to my alternating states of numbness and simmering white collar rage.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

all hallows...

November! November!

Isn't November a great month? I've always thought so. Maybe that's just me.

Yesterday was All Saints Day, how 'bout that? In Catholic grade school I was taught that preceding All Saints Day was the *real* purpose of Halloween. Then I learned from "real Christians" that Halloween was originally a pagan holiday with the purpose of worshipping Satan and stuff. I like that purpose much better truthfully.

Halloween weekend was cool. Worshiping Satan is so much fun. Woo!

I've made some scary custom made costumes for myself in the last few years, I've frightened people, much to my pride. I have reveled in "Ron" which was a group costume in which several friends and I dressed in long witch hair wigs and hockey masks, calling ourselves Ron and generally frightening drunken college kids dressed as fairy princesses and things (2000) and "Bloody Razor Blade Man", in which I splotched red marker blood all over my face, attached dull razor blades to my chest and walked around with my creepiest smile on my face and speaking in my creepiest voice (2001)

The last few years haven't been as inspired. I had a lot of ideas but they were costly and/or impractical, until I hit upon the single most frightening piece of horror inducing horror that horror inducers have ever had cause to induce in the history of horror inducement: I would be a ghost. To accomplish this fiendish disguise? Simplicity itself. I got myself a white sheet, poked some holes in it and put it over myself, transforming me utterly into a SCARY, SCARY GHOST!!! A SCARY, SCARY GHOST FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!!!

I'd like to take this opportunity to reassure you that it was only a costume and it was only pretend. Please don't be frightened anymore. I realize it comes off pretty scary even in print.

It was in fact voted "Scariest Costume" in my office Halloween party. I failed to elect John Kerry to the presidency one year ago today but I've done some other great things with the democratic process.

Friday night I accompanied my theatre critic roommate to see a staged adaptation of several short stories Kurt Vonnegut's "Welcome to the Monkeyhouse" by the Springloaded theatre company. Being a Vonnegut fanboy since I was about thirteen I figured I would enjoy it and I did. The performance was held in one of those strange industrial loft type places young punk theatre companies sometimes rent out. Reminded me a little bit of the Chicago Actors Studio in Wicker Park, a converted industrial space which now where I did one show and have seen a couple of others, except not positioned directly above and across from several incredibly loud rock clubs. It was a really enthusiastic and talented young cast, and the director was obviously quite a Vonnegut fangirl herself, as her extensive notes and decorations on the walls demonstrated. Yet...Some of the choices of stories were odd. I haven't really read the stories since high school but Vonnegut has always maintained they were mostly commercial hackery. They did "Harrison Bergeron" which is probably the most "Vonnegut" of Vonnegut's short stories, despite being a bit like an Ayn Rand story if Ayn Rand didn't suck. In the second act, they wonderfully dramatized the very sentimental but always a favorite of mine, "Long Walk to Forever", then they made the rather incomprehensible decision to close with the title story they say these days, is "problematic". Published in Playboy in 1968, it would be an entertaining bit of sci-fi satire if it wasn't I don't think KV really meant it that way, and I still regard him as the greatest living repository of human wisdom and all but I was surprised, not merely that they staged it, but chose it as the last piece. Still, they seemed like a really great bunch of kids and they gave me a rice krispie treat.

Then my roommate took me to a party hosted by the House Theatre company, regarded by many as the coolest young theatre company in Chicago. I felt immensely cooler by being there. I also had a much more fun conversation with Hester Prynne from the Scarlett Letter than I ever would have envisioned.

Saturday night, I saw my old friend Paul Czarnowski in the stage adaptation of a Buffyesque comic book called "Hack/Slash". My aforementioned theatre critic roommate had pretty much hated it because it made the transition to the stage so poorly, with the kind of quick cut scene changes that are eminently possible in printed or filmed works that really aren't in theatre. Nonetheless, I had a pretty good time, it was a very fun, mostly well written, and well acted show. And I'm biased but my friend Paul stole the show as both a monster and a frat boy killed by a different monster just as he was about to score with a hot chick. His dying words: "So close..."

Monday night, Halloween itself, I watched the Boystown Halloween parade go by. Fun stuff but at that point I was pretty Halloweened out at that point.

And that was the Halloween that was...

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